This week's spotlight is on Jen of runner...maybe? (here). After you read her interview head on over to her blog and say hello.
Jodi: How long have you been running?
Jen: That is a tough question. I have had an on again off again relationship with running since my daughter was born in 2007. I played basketball since I was 5, but the thought of actually running any distance made me cringe. I avoided it at all cost.
Jodi: Why did you start running?
Jen: My first official race was the Seattle St. Patrick’s Day Dash in March of 2008; we walked most of it and were in the untimed crowed. That same year I completed my first 5K in my town.
Jodi: How many years have you been racing?
Jen: Since 2008, however I don’t feel like I was actually training for anything until this year. In December of 2010 I emailed my husband about a local half marathon. I asked if he wanted to help me train. He used to run in high school and is one of those people who running just come naturally – the complete opposite of me. He wrote me back and said he would if I would. So I signed us up. In early January I decided I needed to have a race each month leading up to my half to keep me focused. I had signed up for 10Ks in the past and never ran the races because I gave up before completing the training. This time I was determined to complete the training and run the race. My goal was to cross the finish line.
Jodi: What is your favorite distance to race and why?
Jen: As of last weekend I have decided that my body likes the 10K distance. I struggle a bit the first 3 miles, but 3-6 I feel like I am in my zone. After that it’s a guess on how the run will end. I know that it is just conditioning and my body is used getting used to the 6 mile distance, which means that it is time to push myself more.
Jodi: What is your favorite race memory?
Jen: I am not sure if I have a favorite memory yet. This year I have accomplished two things that I am very proud of and at this point are in the running for favorite. I completed a 5K without walking and I ran my first 10K – two things that if you asked me 5 years ago to do I would have told you I would rather have my eye’s poked out by chickens then run a 5 or 10K race.
Jodi: What is your least favorite race memory?
Jen: March 2009 – the Seattle St. Patrick’s Day Dash (4 miles), when we arrived to this race it was snowing, big huge flakes. By the end of the race it was pouring and the course is uphill the first half and downhill the second half. Running downhill to the finish was like running through a stream, water was splashing everywhere and we were soaking wet.
Jodi: What is your proudest running moment to date?
Jen: Completing the Valentine’s Day 5K without stopping, I may have been slow, but I ran the entire thing. This was big for me as I pushed through my mental barriers to not give up and walk. It helped that I was wearing a BondiBand that said Looks like walking, feels like running; every time I wanted to stop I remembered my headband and giggled. I am coming to terms with the fact that I am slow, but right now my goal is to cross the finish line. Once I do that I can work on the speed part. I was also happy that the XL race shirt was too big! J That was an added bonus.
Jodi: What one item do you absolutely have to have with you on a training run?
Jen: I am a pretty simple girl, but a good sports bra is essential to me. I wear an Enell Sport Bra and LOVE IT! It’s a strait jacket for the ladies – keeps them in place without the bounce. I have heard other good reviews but I am afraid to purchase anything else and not love it, so for now I stick with what I know works.
Jodi: What is your favorite fuel during a race?
Jen: I have only had a chance to try a couple different options, but right now I am enjoying the Sport Beans in Watermelon flavor. My mouth gets really dry when I run so it helps with that while providing me a little boost. Besides that just some water – although I am considering trying NUUN during a run, but have yet to test that before my half.
Jodi: What is your favorite post race snack?
Jen: After my 10K a couple of weeks ago Starbucks had a booth and they were handing out Vanilla Bean Scones – this is my new favorite post races snack! They were perfect – I am a carb girl and usually would grab a bagel if I can find them. If the race is close to home as soon as I get home I make myself a mega smoothie – frozen fruit, frozen banana, coconut milk, protein powder and Greek yogurt are usually my main ingredients. It’s a refreshing meal that sits well on my stomach after hard race or a long run.
Jodi: Who do you admire most and why?
Jen: My Dad – well if you knew my dad you would get it. He is just a great person who finds the best in people and situations. I wrote a brief post (here) about him how in 2001 he ran the Maui Marathon in honor of my step mom his first Marathon was completed in 5:28:29, in the 45-49 Male division – what a rock star.
Jodi: Do you have a favorite quote?
Jen: I don’t really have a favorite quote, I often tell myself – BE STRONG, EMBRACE POWER – to help keep myself motivated.
Jodi: Finish this statement, when I run I feel___________.
Jen: Giddy! Okay that sounds strange. A lot of the time when I am running I am fighting my own self-doubt, the inner fat girl is trying to break through – but on those good runs I get excited, like I am doing this, I a freaking doing this.
Jodi: What is your current goal?
Jen: To cross the finish line of my first half marathon on May 8th. A great day as it is Mother’s Day and my dad’s birthday!
Jodi: What I would say to anyone else wanting to run:
Jen: No matter who you are, no matter your size you can do anything you put your mind to. I used to weigh 83lbs more than I do today. I still have a ways to go - I was ready to give up. I was unhappy I was fat and I was letting myself be miserable. It took me a while to realize that I was creating my own destiny. I was creating my own reality and only I could improve upon it. It has been a long journey but if you asked me 3.5 years ago when my daughter was born if I would ever run a half marathon I would tell you know I can’t even run a mile. The only thing in the way from you taking that first step to run is your own two feet. All you need to do is make the choice to make the change. Will some days feel like you are going backwards, yes, well some days feel like you are on top of the world – of course? It is how you react to that situation that will make you the best YOU! So take the step, take the challenge – get up and get moving.
Thanks again for the opportunity to give you a Thumbs Up Jen. Best of luck achieving your current goals!
Keep running, you're simply the best, and Jen YOU inspire ME!!